Ah, the UGG boot – a classic, yet controversial shoe in the fashion world that some think is better left in the early 2000s. The shearling-lined, suede boot has sat in my closet for nearly 10 years now, a shoe I have historically grabbed only on cold days when walking wasn’t that much of a concern. In fact, I left mine at home since the snow and rain here in Evanston don’t make for ideal UGG boot conditions.
Despite my qualms, greater fashion goddesses like Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid are rocking the cheugy (ie. outdated) UGG shoes in 2022. The brand's new face is Cher, for crying out loud!
Perhaps, there is some merit to these trendsetters reverting to the coziest shoe on the market. But what do Northwestern students think about this trend? Is it applicable to college life and not just the perfectly curated model or influencer lifestyle? I spoke to a few students with varying opinions on UGGs to see if a consensus could be reached for this new trend.
“I am an avid Bella Hadid stan,” said Medill second-year Naya Reyes on celebs sporting the famous boot. “Everything she wears somehow also ends up in my closet.”
Given her self-proclaimed obsession with Hadid, it is no surprise the UGG slippers are also Reyes' new staple. Another student I interviewed, though, was not aware of influencers restarting this trend – but they weren't upset to see the comeback.
Weinberg second-year Rita Chen focused more on the shoe’s practicality for the cold winter months in Chicago and thinks of their trendiness as a plus.
“It’s such a necessity especially in Chicago winter to have a nice pair of warm shoes, and I think UGGs are the perfect [option],” Chen said.
Chen harped on how what were once considered the most stylish UGGs (see: the Short Boot and Classic Tall Boot) has changed significantly since she was in middle school, with the Ultra-Mini UGGs and slipper UGGs going viral online. Basically, now the trend is that the longer the boot is, the more unstylish it is.
Reyes and Chen agreed that NU students seem to be following this Y2K trend with the amount of UGG boots they’ve seen around campus — but is it for everyone?
It’s important to note that Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner are supermodels with nearly unlimited budgets and cars that drive them anywhere and everywhere. But the average NU student has to walk ten minutes to at least one class, and wants something especially comfortable and warm during those treacherous winter walks between North and South Campus. Unfortunately, while all UGG’s check off the warm-and-cozy box, they aren’t the most practical choice – with the slipper variety being particularly impractical.
“They’re not very comfortable to walk in because they’re so flat,” Reyes said about her Tazz Platform Slippers.
Reyes added that she has twisted her ankles on many occasions in the two weeks she’s owned the slippers. Definitely dangerous for long walks down Sheridan.
It seems that the coveted platform styles of UGGs that celebrities have been loving aren’t well suited for long treks, which is almost synonymous with being an NU student.
There’s also an issue of affordability. Reyes' shoes are a hefty $120 investment for one pair. This price isn’t something most college students have the money to buy, and it's a high price tag for an ankle injury, if you ask me.
Medill second-year Tabi Parent weighed in on the fact that this trend is just that: a trend.
“UGGs are definitely a popular shoe around campus,” Parent said, “[But] they’re probably going to go back out of style pretty soon.”
Parent also talked about the trend’s futility.
“I don’t think people need to go out and buy UGGs,” she said. “The brand itself [isn’t] that big a deal.”
Yet Parent herself has also been wearing a pair of the aforementioned Short Classic UGG boots from her sister’s closet to join in on the trend.
With that said, Parent had another idea for those who already own an older style boot: upcycling.
Besides using the trend more as a guideline for how to wear things she already owns, Parent mentioned that she’s seen people on TikTok cut their old UGGs to make them “mini” instead of buying new ones. Her more sustainable outlook on the trend helps her avoid falling into excessive consumerism.
Despite financial and comfort barriers, it appears some NU students, or at least second-years, are hyped about this once-cheugy shoe coming back to life. To them, warm toes are worth the price, the flat sole and the potential bullying that comes with wearing the shoe.
“I’m definitely gonna be rockin’ them this winter,” Reyes said. Will you?